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Jacobite broadside - Mary of Modena, from the painting by Kneller at Dalkeith Palace

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Jacobite broadside - Mary of Modena, from the painting by Kneller at Dalkeith Palace

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Mary of Modena, from the painting by Kneller at Dalkeith Palace

Godfrey Kneller, born Gottfried Kniller, was indeed a prominent German-born English portrait painter of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. He was born on 8 August 1646 in Lübeck, Germany, and later anglicised his name to Godfrey Kneller after settling in England. Kneller's work consisted mainly of portraits of British royalty, aristocrats and prominent figures of his time. He gained considerable recognition and became the leading portrait painter in England during the reigns of William III and Queen Anne. His notable works include portraits of King William III, Queen Anne and many members of the British aristocracy and intellectual elite. Kneller's style was influenced by the Dutch and Flemish schools of painting and he was known for his skilful depiction of his subjects with a sense of grandeur and elegance. Throughout his career, Kneller received many commissions and honours, including being appointed Principal Painter to the Crown by King William III in 1688. He was also a founder member of the Kit-Cat Club, a prominent 18th century London club for Whig politicians and intellectuals. Godfrey Kneller died in London on 19 October 1723, leaving a legacy of influential portrait painting in late Baroque England. His works are still celebrated for their depiction of the political and cultural elite of his time.

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Date

1800 - 1900
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National Library of Scotland
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public domain

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